Salt Bae's 14th restaurant and the first to offer a steak wrapped in gold. After two years of delays, Nusret Gke, a Turkish chef, opened Nusr-Et, his London restaurant, in September. There were some headlines. The man is a living legend, known for his extravagant salting of his steaks. Local food columnists can't resist this story: ridiculous dishes at silly prices, topped with silly salt. Could anyone have predicted that Gke would be the subject of 774 headlines around the globe in the six weeks to follow? The meme had reached a new level.
A video of Salt Bae uploaded to Twitter on October 28th, just 57 months after his London restaurant opened. It had accumulated 1.7million views. The average meme lasts for just four months, according to an investigation by The Outline in 2018. Salt Bae's fame is not a fluke, but because he has turned it into an entire dining experience that serves content. Gke doesn't just feed wealthy clients, he also feeds the entire Salt Bae industrial community.
In the past week, there were 149 articles about Salt Bae on the internet. This was also the week that McDonald's introduced its first vegan burger in the UK, the McPlant. It generated just 48 articles. The headlines like, Salt Bae appears unrecognisable as friend's prefame photo, and This isn't a drill: Salt Bae spends time in the park feeding the pigeons, apparently bringing in the clicks. The Sun, a British tabloid, recently featured an article that had a blue logo that read SALT BAE LATEST. It also has its own Salt Bae tag called Unbaelievable.
Gke's first American restaurant opened in Miami in November 2017. It drew little attention from the local press. The New York Nusr-Et was opened in November 2017. Because of its proximity to American media, the reaction to it was much stronger. This prompted everything from a New York Times review and a New York Post takedown. However, Luke Evans's interview about the restaurant was not viewed more than 25,000 times on YouTube. What was it about this London restaurant that gave the world a lift? Salt Bae is now such an endless source of content.
The literal meaning of edible gold is "simply tasteless". A steak wrapped in edible-gold is a mirror. Hold it up to a man, and he'll see his self within.
This is a fancy way to say: Nothing cuts deeper than class for the British. Britain has a complex history and is obsessed with how people fit into social hierarchies.